Indonesian officials have located the crash site where the first Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Corp. regional jet went down after the search was suspended overnight.
The crash site is near Mount Salak, in the West Java provice relatively near the last coordinate the country’s search and rescue agency gave as the known position. Images taken from an Indonesian air force Super Puma helicopter show a relatively small impact area steep on the mountainside. The co-ordinates of the crash site are given as 106 43’ 15” East and 06 43’ 08” South.
An official from Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) tells Aviation Week that the crash site is 6,100-6,200ft above sea level.
Russia has dispatched an investigation team that is due to arrive in Indonesia this afternoon, says the official. NTSC, meanwhile, has appointed Professor Marjono to lead the investigation, he says. Marjono, like some other Indonesians, only goes by one name.
The French aircraft accident investigation office, the BEA, has also reached out to Indonesian officials to offer its support in the accident investiation process.is a key avionics supplier and is a partner on the PowerJet SaM146 turbofan.
Contact with the aircraft was lost a few minutes after the regional jet departed Halim Pedanakusumah Airport in Jakarta. The aircraft had made a previous tour and departed Halim for another demonstration flight at 2:20 p.m., local official say. Last contact with the aircraft was around 2:33 p.m. local time with the aircraft descending from 10,000 ft. to 6,000 ft., according to the Indonesian search and rescue agency says.
Sukhoi says there were 45 persons on board the aircraft while Indonesian officials say 50 persons were on board. The figure was up from an earlier manifest that showed 44 onboard.
The aircraft was on an Asian tour to help drum-up sales interest in the regional jet. Several Asian airlines have already committed to the program, including Indonesia’s Kartika Airlines (two airline employees were on the flight). The NTSC official says some of the passengers also included representatives from Indonesian Sriwijaya Air, Airfast Indonesia and Aviastar. He also says there was at least one passenger on board who worked for Indonesian Aerospace (IAe), the state-owned aircraft manufacturer.
The mishap aircraft is SN95004, which replaced SN95005 which began the tour.
Prior to its arrival in Indonesia, the tour included stops in Burma, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan, and the aircraft was due to head to Laos and Vietnam after. At the outset of the tour, Sukhoi said chief test pilot Alexander Yablontsev and his co-pilot Alexander Kochetkov would be in charge.
The incident comes as Sukhoi was looking to move the program to a new level, with production slated to ramp up after several years of below-planned output. Moreover, the aircraft maker recently received the Mexican certification for the regional jet to allow Interjet, its first western operator, to commence use of the aircraft this year.
and Armavia are the only Superjet operators so far. The total in-service fleet has now reached seven aircraft.